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July 28,  2009

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...07/28/2009

Ad Agency Clients Insisting On More For Less

Big marketers have cut back on the fees they pay ad firms for their services, such as creating TV commercials. Additionally, they’ve slashed what they spend on ad time and space.

Marketers have, over the past few years, begun to get their procurement departments involved in efforts to cut the costs on a wide range of marketing activities, including ad production.

To cope with the changing environment and lesser profits, the ad industry has reacted to the downturn by paring jobs as salaries typically represent about 55% to 65% of an agency’s expenses.

PayPal Will Surpass eBay’s Revenue

CEO John Donahoe of eBay, speaking at the “Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference” in Pasadena last week, says eBay’s PayPal will become a bigger business than eBay. Donahoe expects PayPal will double in size in the next four or five years. He also noted that fees generated from its transactions appear to be the future of revenue for the online commerce Internet site. 

Although now in beta testing, PayPal is opening an API to developers to allow them to embed its payment system into their own applications and platforms. PayPal says this is the first global payment platform to open to third-party developers.

Bleak Outlook For Restaurants’ Next 18 Months

Moody’s Investors Services have issued a report saying the restaurant industry is likely to remain weak for the next 12 to 18 months, as declines in restaurant traffic coincides with greater affordability of eating at home.

Ad Slump Expected To Lessen In 2010

A unit of the Interpublic Group of companies, Magna, says that ad revenue is on track to decline by 14.5% this year to $161.4 billion. Ad revenue will pick up next year with the Olympics and political advertising, but still fall, at 2%. Magna foresees ad growth resuming in the second half of 201l, with strength in TV, online media, outdoor and direct mail.

Barter Industry Conventions Scheduled

The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) is holding its 30th annual convention October 1-3 at the four-star Magnolia Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

For more convention information click here

The National Association of Trade Exchanges’ (NATE) 25th annual convention will be held October 25-27 at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more convention information click here.

 All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


Top Ten Ways Women Entrepreneurs Boost Productivity

By Susan L Reid, business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting up businesses.

Listed in a David Letterman’s reverse “Top Ten” order, here are the top ten ways women entrepreneurs boost productivity:

10. Write out your to-do list the night before.

Don’t wait until morning to make your list. Write your list the night before. Allow the process to percolate while you sleep. Then, when you wake up, it’s as if you’ve had an eight-hour head start on your day.

9. Prioritize your daily list using the “ABCD and E” method.

A = must do
B = should do
C = would be nice to do
D = delegate
E = eliminate

8. Wake up early and get off to a good start.

Wake up early to set the tone for your day. This allows you to get into the swing of things at an unhurried pace. Establish a morning routine that is of greatest benefit to you, not just to your family.

7. Delegate everything possible.

If it isn’t directly making you money, delegate it to someone else. Turn over data-entry tasks, packing and shipping, and answering non-essential e-mails and calls to a competent administrative professional. Not sure if you should turn something over? Ask yourself, “Can this task be done by someone else, or does it need my direct attention?” As an entrepreneur, your job is to concentrate on what is of most value to you and your business success...not on errands.

6. Know your energy peaks and valleys.

You are in control of your business. You get to say when, you get to say how, and you get to say how long. As an entrepreneur, you aren’t locked into a 9-to-5 workday. You can start work at the crack of dawn, go to the gym in the afternoon, and outline a new product idea in the evening. Schedule work activities, family time, and personal quiet time around the natural ebb and flow of your energy peaks and valleys.

5. Find a way to love what you do.

If you love what you do then you are more apt to be productive because you are fully engaged. No matter what you’re doing at any given time, find a way to love doing it.

4. If in doubt, throw it out.

Make liberal use of your waste can and recycle bin. Regularly go through files and throw out or shred material that is outdated or no longer relevant. There is no need to save everything “just in case” you’ll need it later. Trust that if you throw something out today and you need it in the future, you’ll be able to get your hands on it again.

3. Break up projects into tasks.

If you have something on your to-do list that’s been there for a long time, realize that it’s probably not a task. It’s a project. To-do lists are for discreet tasks. When you put a project on your list, you’ll feel bogged down and productivity will slow. Many of the women entrepreneurs surveyed use business strategist Brian Tracy’s method for breaking up projects into easy-to-do tasks:

First, list the finished result you want. Next, map out every single step of the project. Then, put the steps into order, moving the important steps to the front. Now, delegate tasks and assign responsibilities.

Finally, track the progress of the project.

2. Give 80% of your attention to what is important and 20% to what is urgent.

As an entrepreneur, your job is to discern the difference between what’s important and what’s urgent. To figure out the difference between the two, ask yourself, “Will focusing on this move my business forward and make me money, or will I just be putting out fires?”

Dealing with the urgent all day is draining. Dealing with the important is energizing. Make sure you’re giving 80% of your time and attention to what’s important each day.

1. Focus on one thing at a time.

The number-one thing women entrepreneurs do to boost productivity is…focus on one thing at a time. Although women are known to be exceptional multi-taskers, those surveyed said they were able to get more done when they focused on one thing at a time. Starting and stopping in the middle of things was frustrating for them and meant that not much was completed at day’s end.

Tip: If focusing on one thing at a time is challenging for you, have a pen and paper nearby. That way, if something pops into your head, just write it down and get right back to the task at hand.

What is the number one thing you should do to boost your productivity? As you’ve just seen, among the 250 women entrepreneurs I surveyed their answers ranged from prioritizing their daily to-do list to learning to break projects up into smaller tasks to delegating everything possible. Decide which of their favorite techniques will help you the most, and start implementing them right now. You’re sure to boost productivity for yourself and your business.


Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


 “Control your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage.”

—Sam Walton, founder Wal-Mart stores

Sam Walton’s relentless drive to slash costs led Wal-Mart from a single store in Arkansas, to over 8,000 stores today. As explained in his auto-biography, Sam Walton: Made In America, he did it by understanding that you find your niche by ignoring conventional wisdom. .

In his book he emphasized that “you can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient.” Like Walton, an incredible number of today’s entrepreneurs start out underfinanced and undercapitalized.

In fact, a recent statistic from the U.S. Census and Federal Reserve Survey shows that “almost half of all new businesses begin with less than $10,000 in total capital.” Using your trade exchange to make needed business purchases will enable you to gain that all-important competitive advantage Walton referred to.

Moreover, your barter sales are all new sales — from an entirely different source. They provide a young company with a valuable stabilizer, enabling the time to grow into, and become, a stronger company.


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

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Jump Through Hoops Of Fire?

Have you ever had customers who asked you to jump through flaming hoops to get and keep their business? Say “yes” to these customers as often as possible. Nothing makes them feel better than knowing you’ve done the impossible for them.

Then, make the most out of your spectacular service by letting those customers know how far you’ve gone to accommodate them. Remind them you went the extra mile. For example, tell them, “It cost me a few favors, but I was able to move your delivery date up.”

Don’t forget: Your customers goodwill is the only asset that your competition cannot undersell.


Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews


As This Trade Illustrates There’s Hidden Value in One’s Various Assets

When trading, always be aware of the hidden value of the asset, and by strategically negotiating, you may be able to retain a very valuable portion just for the asking! That’s essentially what Prudential Insurance did when it sold its Boston Prudential Center office complex for $700 million. As part of the deal, the giant insurance company cleverly negotiated that the property forever retain the Prudential name — signage that undoubtedly is worth many millions.

(Such value is not overstated, inasmuch as major corporations are willingly and eagerly paying millions to have their names affixed to major sports stadiums.)


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The Growth and Use of Secondary Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today’s New Age Of Possibility

There are many forms of secondary capital—which can be defined as any financial instrument that measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?

 We have 70 free, informative and inspiring, articles for you in our “Secondary Capital Section.”

Check it out... www.barternews.com/secondary_capital.htm.


Get New Money-Making Ideas And Valuable Contacts!

You can obtain useful, informative ideas and contacts in every available back-issue of BarterNews.


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